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"Plan A"

July 12

Plan A

Isaiah 30:1-18

Woe to the Obstinate Nation



1 “Woe to the obstinate children,”

  declares the Lord,

“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,

  forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,

  heaping sin upon sin;

2 who go down to Egypt

  without consulting me;

who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,

  to Egypt’s shade for refuge.

3 But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame,

  Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.

4 Though they have officials in Zoan

  and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,

5 everyone will be put to shame

  because of a people useless to them,

who bring neither help nor advantage,

  but only shame and disgrace.”


6 A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev:


Through a land of hardship and distress,

  of lions and lionesses,

  of adders and darting snakes,

the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs,

  their treasures on the humps of camels,

to that unprofitable nation,

7   to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless.

Therefore I call her

  Rahab the Do-Nothing.


8 Go now, write it on a tablet for them,

  inscribe it on a scroll,

that for the days to come

  it may be an everlasting witness.

9 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children,

  children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction.

10 They say to the seers,

  “See no more visions!”

and to the prophets,

  “Give us no more visions of what is right!

Tell us pleasant things,

  prophesy illusions.

11 Leave this way,

  get off this path,

and stop confronting us

  with the Holy One of Israel!”


12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:


“Because you have rejected this message,

  relied on oppression

  and depended on deceit,

13 this sin will become for you

  like a high wall, cracked and bulging,

  that collapses suddenly, in an instant.

14 It will break in pieces like pottery,

  shattered so mercilessly

that among its pieces not a fragment will be found

  for taking coals from a hearth

  or scooping water out of a cistern.”


15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:


“In repentance and rest is your salvation,

  in quietness and trust is your strength,

  but you would have none of it.

16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’

  Therefore you will flee!

You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’

  Therefore your pursuers will be swift!

17 A thousand will flee

  at the threat of one;

at the threat of five

  you will all flee away,

till you are left

  like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,

  like a banner on a hill.”


18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;

  therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the Lord is a God of justice.

  Blessed are all who wait for him!


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